After Ecclesiastes

In the moment where dreams die, half way through the yawn, a man can be so deluded as to believe he’s got the answer. Sadly, this diminishes in waking. For Frank, this was his whole life; every moment, everyday. Every waking moment he chased the thought of the previous second.

While Frank was grasping at sand he also managed to grab hold of Beckie. Beckie loved his embrace so much that she married him. They moved to Greenwood. He became a gardener, she tended bar. She happily watched him grope for truth in the moments when he wasn’t preoccupied. But those moments got fewer and fewer as Beckie became pregnant with their first son John.

John soon had a sister named Melanie and there was much love in their house. Still, Frank was usually quite lost in thought. From time to time, he would come out of his reverie to find that he had a wonderful life. He was attentive enough father but still he had his spells.

Melanie told me of a conversation she had with her father when she was six.

“Why are we here?”

“We’re here because we can be nothing else but be who we are and we can be nowhere else but where we are.”

Melanie was of course puzzled, because she wanted to know why they were at the grocery store.

Frank always had a bad habit of dropping little pearls like that just at the moment you weren’t listening. I knew him later in life and his mind was taking longer and longer to come back to those he loved. He would jump into a conversation with some odd truth and walk right out of the conversation quick as he came.

“It’s not what you say but what you do that matters.”

That was my favorite bit he ever told me. I think he was quoting Batman but that doesn’t make it any less true. What Frank did was love, he loved his family, he loved his friends, he loved his neighbors and he really loved his Pacers. The man seemed to love everyone and everything, even in the end.

I loved to believe that he found his answers in those last moments but this I can’t know. I do know that he loved and he was loved and that he mattered a great deal to all of us.